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Sixty-six-year-old Larry Yepez is a Marine and a Vietnam veteran. “I got shot through this wrist, and I got hit here in the foot, and I got some shrapnel metal here in the back,” the Purple Heart recipient told CBS 47. Last Thursday, at 4am,, Yepez walked out his front door – and straight into a grizzly bear. “I saw him, and I yelled, ‘Hey get out of here.’ And he continued to come towards me.’  The bear then jumped on him and knocked him down…. ‘He had his mouth here, and that’s when . . .

he ripped here, and he got me here on the neck too. He ripped towards my neck and then again the belly,” Yepez said while showing the injuries to his wrist, face, neck and abdomen.”

Yepez credits his training for surviving the attack.

“The Marines tell you to remove the word ‘can’t’ from your vocabulary. Don’t you ever say that word again–can’t. And then they say–take the pain.”

Just as gun gurus and commentators constantly tell TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia, the most important tool an armed self-defender must bring to a fight is the will to survive – no matter what. Even if you’re shot, stabbed, bludgeoned or generally beat on, don’t give up. Oh, and home carry people. Home carry.

As the old saying goes, sometimes the bear chases you. Sometimes you chase the bear. But never let the bear steal your fighting spirit. Lose that and it’s over before it begins. That is all.

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  1. “Even if you’re shot, stabbed, bludgeoned or generally beat on, don’t give up.”

    Also remember that the criminal will have the same physiological and psychological reactions, and it is important to not quit until they are confirmed to not be a threat anymore. Which is what brings about caliber wars, and shot placement, or the freedom neutered shoot to stop, not to eliminate the threat for future victims sake.

    Are there many grizzlies in Mariposa county california?

  2. Ok I’m just being a wanker. But us old enough to remember (Land Shark ) from Saturday Nite Live after the imfomous knock on door.

    • (quiet knocking on door) …
      home occupant: Who is it?
      (quiet, timid voice): candygram.

      You know what happens next … !

    • “But us old enough to remember (Land Shark ) from Saturday Nite Live after the imfomous knock on door.”

      Only a dolphin….

      For as funny as Chevy Chase was on SNL, he was hands-down the most hated / despised cast member they ever had. Only Laraine Newman

      • Lousy editor timer..

        Only SNL’s Laraine Newman bothered to show up for Chevy’s comedy roast. That roast was the meanest, most vicious (and funniest) roast I’ve ever seen:

  3. Man survived viet nam and being mauled by a bear. God help the dumbass that wants to phuck with him cause old guys can’t fight back.

  4. If Mr. Yepez encountered a grizzly bear, it was a small one because the news video says it was a 250 pound bear … not that a 250 pound bear of any variety is anything to sneeze at.

    Even a .357 Magnum revolver with a 6 inch barrel and 180 grain hardcast lead bullets should have provided the necessary incentive for the bear to promptly extricate itself.

    Having said that, some readers may recognize that I am a .44 Magnum fanboy for just such an occasion. I was recently searching for huckleberries (wild blueberries) in a seemingly endless huckleberry patch in a state forest. I had my .44 Magnum revolver with me in case any bears took exception to my presence. I am confident that a 240 grain semi-jacketed softpoint bullet exiting the muzzle at 1200 fps will put down a 250 pound bear in short order.

    A .44 Magnum also provides a nice wallop if you end up having to defend yourself after stumbling into an unlicensed “cannabis plantation” in the middle of the state forest.

    • I wondered about that too, since the story comes from west of the Mississippi, and the Mariposa County I know is in California, where we ain’t got no grizzlies. Yup, just checked–Mariposa, California. Not a grizzly, those are extinct. Just a big brown. Pretty unusual for out bears to attack anyone unless trapped, but then there is the drought, so who knows.

    • Curious where you were picking huckleberries. Here in NW MT, there was a huckleberry festival last weekend in the next town. Black bears are fairly common, but not sure about brown bears right here, but there were a couple killed in the next town down from the huckleberry festival maybe 4 years ago. So, yes, I wouldn’t be surprised to see brown bears going for huckleberries.

      • Zero possibility of browns/grizzlies where I was picking huckleberries. I was only concerned about black bears and cougars. Needless to say any .44 Magnum load that is capable of promptly putting down a black bear will do the same to a cougar … IF I see/hear the cougar coming before it strikes. And that is a BIG “if”.

        • Well…there’s a fairly well known watering hole in Los Gatos CA (the cats – named after native wildcats) acclaimed for its cougar population – particularly during Happy Hour. Delicious irony.

    • “A .44 Magnum also provides a nice wallop if you end up having to defend yourself after stumbling into an unlicensed “cannabis plantation” in the middle of the state forest.”

      Be more careful for tripwires setting off 12 gauge shotgun booby traps at ankle level if you’re in Cannabis Country.

      That will ruin your day real fast.

  5. If you live somewhere there’s even a remote chance of being attacked by a bear (or human) You should be carrying.
    If I was in his position, I would carry either a air weight 38 special, or something like a Sig 938 sub compact 9.
    If the chances of a bear in the area, became more imminent, then I would upgrade to something more substantial!

    • Gunr,

      As far as I can determine, consensus among people of the gun is that a .357 Magnum revolver with a 4 inch barrel or 10mm semi-auto pistol with a 5 inch barrel — both shooting hot loads of heavy-for-caliber hardcast lead bullets with large flat meplats — are the minimum handgun for reliably stopping an attacking black bear in short order.

      An airweight .38 Special or compact 9mm handgun doesn’t seem to be enough gun to be a decisive fight stopper in a scrap with a 200 to 600 pound black bear. Would wounds from such guns ultimately kill a black bear? Sure. But the bear would be fully capable of ripping you to shreds before giving up the ghost.

      Personally, I opt for the .44 Magnum because I can handle the recoil and I am a “safety margin” kind of person.

      Speaking of recoil, 1 week ago I shot an airweight .38 Special revolver (125 grain bullets), a full size .357 Magnum revolver with a 6 inch barrel (158 grain bullets), and a large .44 Magnum revolver with 8 inch ported barrel (ever so slightly underloaded 240 grain bullets) all in succession. Believe it or not the airweight .38 Special revolver seemed to produce more recoil than the .357 Magnum or .44 Magnum revolvers!

      Needless to say, why shoot a 125 grain, .357 inch diameter bullet with a muzzle velocity of 850 feet per second when you can shoot a 240 grain, .429 inch diameter bullet with a muzzle velocity of at least 1200 fps … and with less perceived recoil?!?!? I’ll take the heavier, larger, faster bullet every time.

      • My wife’s Airweight shooting .38 +P was definitely the most painful recoil I ever felt, promptly downgraded to normal loads, still pretty stiff.

  6. I remember back in the late nineties there was a brief movement to reintroduce the grizzly to the Los Angeles mountains. I think everyone eventually realized that was insane. But give the crazies time. They’ll bring it up again eventually.

    • There are worse things than a lot of LA getting eaten by grizzly bears. Actually, I think everyone else would benefit as well!

      Now, to reintroduce grizzly bears into NYC, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland….

  7. For those of concerned with four legged threats I recommend reading “The Beast in the Garden” by David Barron. It is a sensible look at the increasing frequency of human- predator interactions. I always recommend this book when I encounter someone skeptical of the threat from bears, cats and wild canines. The more humans interact with these apex predators the more likely it is that attacks will occur.

    • +1. We are already seeing the same effect described in Boulder, CO happening in the suburban fringe in SoCal foothills. Cougars and coyotes habituated to daytime hunting on neighborhood cats and dogs, that have no “consequences” to roaming free in those habitats, means they become predators on homeless people, mountain bikers, joggers, children, etc.

      • The further back into the canyons the new developments go, the closer we bring humans to the opportunistic animals. I remember the particular incidents linked below, and having hiked that area quite frequently when I lived there, I wanted to smack the parents more than anything. If there is a paved trail eight feed wide and your houses are below same by about six feet, your eight foot fence is no deterrent. It’s only gotten worse since, and no one will heed the warnings until someone gets bit somewhere like oh, Runyon Canyon at an odd hour. And when it does, the outcry will exceed the solutions by a few orders of magnitude.

  8. I mentioned the idea of keeping a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 rem mag in case of bears to a guy that hunts in Alaska. His advise was to file off the front sight. That way it doesn’t hurt too bad when a grizzly shoves it up my A$$.

  9. Should have urinated or vomited. Toldl the bear he had a disease or was menstruating. Oops, never mind thats advice for rape victims. Probably won’t work for a bear. On second thought, it might not work for a rapist either.


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